Results of Our May 21 Contract Bargaining Session

Results of Our May 21 Contract Bargaining Session

Our UFF-UCF Bargaining Team was back in session Tuesday morning, negotiating the contract topics of Benefits and Appointments with the UCF Board of Trustees team. This was our 29th bargaining session for the current 2018-2021 contract.

Article 24, Benefits, was first on the table, with UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Chuck Reilly offering an alternative to phased retirement for discussion. The proposal is to delete the Phased Retirement Program from the contract (24.5), for a new “Transition-to-Retirement Program” (T2RP) in its place.

UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator Dr. Jen Sandoval, UFF-UCF employment attorney Richard Siwica, and our leadership team will review this newly-proposed program for us before our next bargaining session. Both the BOT and UFF-UCF will research retirement plans that address our faculty members’ needs.

Next up for discussion was Article 8, Appointment. The BOT handed out a proposal with possibly negative changes but the team negotiated to remain at status quo with only a few language changes to add clarity to the article. We TA’d (“tentatively agreed”) on Article 8.

Our next bargaining session, number 30, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11,  from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Millican Hall meeting room MH 395-E (the Provost Conference Room).

We will discuss Article 24 again and Article 9, Assignment of Responsibilities, at the next session. Learn more about our bargaining process and see all upcoming session dates on our Bargaining page.

Below is a list of those who attended Tuesday, May 21.

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team (The Faculty Union):

  • Jennifer Sandoval – UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer
  • Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President
  • John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • Richard Siwica – UFF-UCF Employment Attorney

UCF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team (The University BOT):

  • Michael Mattimore – UCF Employment Lawyer, Managing Partner of Allen Norton & Blue, P.A.
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Administrator Support

Session Guests:

  • Aisha Morfe-Bencosm – UCF Benefits Assistant Manager
  • Ashley Longoria – UCF HR Associate Director, Benefits & Leave Administration
  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Michael Armato – UFF-UCF Secretary
  • Louis Torretta – Legal intern with Richard Siwica and UCF graduate
  • Dave Plotkin – UFF-UCF Communications

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Results of Our Contract Bargaining Session Today

Results of Our Contract Bargaining Session Today

Your UFF-UCF Bargaining Team was back in session this morning, negotiating the topic of leaves with the UCF Board of Trustees team. From paid parental leave to sick leave and administrative leaves, our contracts provide us with leaves in order to refresh, recover, and meet the obligations of life.

Leave is not a gift, it is compensation for our work. When we take leave, we are using what we have earned, not something that has been given to us. The right to take leave, rather than the right to ask for leave, is a core value of our faculty union.

This bargaining session, the 28th of the current contract negotiations, ended with a few significant gains. The BOT tentatively accepted (or “TA’ed”) Article 17 of our contracts, which preserves our current parental leave for instructional and non-instructional faculty.

Parental leave for non-instructional faculty members will be lengthened from 13 weeks to 16 weeks. Non-instructional faculty members include UCF’s Librarians and the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team, to name a few. This tentative BOT/UFF-UCF acceptance will become official once the final contract is signed and voted on by the entire UCF faculty.

Our bargaining conversation today also included plans to later reopen two types of leave in our contract, after it is closed and signed. These “reopeners” will allow us to discuss compulsory leave (which the BOT expressed they want to discuss more), and family leave (which UFF-UCF wants to discuss more).

Family leave is an important issue gaining interest in both our union and on the BOT, as it expands “parental leave” beyond the parents of children to include all family needs, such as family illnesses. Compulsory leave will be reexamined to ensure the rights of faculty members are maintained.

We will continue to keep you informed as bargaining continues into the summer. All faculty members are welcome to attend the bargainings sessions, and the full list can be found on our Bargaining page.

Our next bargaining session is Tuesday, May 21, at 10:00 a.m. in EDU 305. The bargaining process is about much more than salaries. From intellectual property to leaves from work, your UFF-UCF faculty union is standing up for the rights and benefits of every faculty member, every year. Email president@uffucf.org with questions or feedback.

Below is a list of those who attended today.

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team (The Faculty Union):

  • Jennifer Sandoval – UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer
  • Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President
  • John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • John Fauth (phone) – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team

UCF BOT Bargaining Team (The University):

  • Sherry Andrews – Sherry Andrews, UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Michael Mattimore – UCF Employment Lawyer, Managing Partner of Allen Norton & Blue, P.A.
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Administrator Support

Session Guests:

  • Michael Armato – UFF-UCF Secretary
  • Dave Plotkin – UFF-UCF Communications
  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Ben Anderson – UCF Assistant Director, Leave Administration
  • Ashley Longoria – UCF HR Associate Director, Benefits & Leave Administration

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UFF-UCF Continues Contract Bargaining Today for a 28th Session

UFF-UCF Continues Contract Bargaining Today for a 28th Session

Thursday, May 2, 2019

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Our UFF-UCF union Bargaining Team continues negotiations with the UCF Board of Trustees today, the 28th session of this contract.

Representatives for the UCF BOT will meet again with our faculty representatives to determine the employment contract for every UCF faculty member, regardless of UFF-UCF membership.

Today is expected to conclude with a closing of the contract, though five articles remain before the end of negotiations. Our bonus and salary raises were already finalized and signed on March 21.

Today’s session is from 9:30 a.m. until about 12:00 p.m. in EDU 305. Faculty are welcome to attend.

You can find a list of the bargaining session dates on the Bargaining page of our website. You can also find them listed on our Calendar page.

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Meet the Professor Who Negotiates Your Raises

Meet the Professor Who Negotiates Your Raises

UFF-UCF’s Chief Negotiator, Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, explores how identity impacts communication in complex contexts.

On March 21, UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator Dr. Jennifer Sandoval signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UCF Board of Trustees locking in our faculty bonus and raises, weeks before the rest of our contract will be finalized.

This MOU strategy – and the first multi-year faculty contract it will be part of – have never before been achieved from the UCF Board of Trustees. UCF’s Associate General Counsel and Associate Provost, Sherry Andrews, had to defend the agreement later before the BOT, citing the tone of recent negotiations as a reason to acquiesce to bargaining demands for faculty raises.

“There is something to be said for rewarding good behavior,” Andrews told the BOT. “I do think we have achieved most – not all but the vast majority – of our strategic objectives in this negotiation.”

So who is Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, and how did her negotiating tactics and “good behavior” lead to unprecedented progress for our faculty?

In the Shadow of the Law

It should come as little surprise that Sandoval is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Communication and Conflict in the Nicholson School of Communication and Media.

Born in Deer Park, California, Sandoval graduated cum laude from Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication, before earning her Masters Degree of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine School of Law, and then her Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Before joining the UCF faculty in August 2011, Sandoval worked as a mediator, trainer, instructor, and consultant. Her career was building toward a law degree before a teaching job changed her professional trajectory.

“I performed a lot of small consulting firm work for years, where a lot of my contributions were about conflict,” says Sandoval. “It was interesting and I liked it fine, but I ended up teaching as an adjunct and loved that much more. I got my Ph.D. in culture and communication, instead of attending law school, in order to teach.”

Sandoval describes her master’s education at Pepperdine Law as being outside of the legal field, but “in the shadow of the law.” Her early work in labor and employment revealed how completely different California law is, compared to “right to work” states like Florida.

In California – where faculty members are automatically enrolled in their union – much of the energy and effort goes toward bargaining and contracts, and big issue campaigns, rather than recruitment and retention. Sandoval’s focus has been on building faculty bargaining strength through consistent, professional negotiations.

“My master’s in dispute resolution is a professional master’s degree in the law school, but it is often a stepping stone on the way to a law degree,” says Sandoval. “My experiences in California and as our previous Grievance Chair prepared me to be able to see the holes in the UFF-UCF contract.”

Life and Death Communication

Sandoval’s academic emphasis has grown to focus more on communicating differences in the context of sexual and reproductive health, a subject seemingly far away from conflict resolution. Sandoval currently teaches courses in interpersonal, intercultural, and gender communication. Her research focuses on the communication of the intersection of identity, bodily autonomy, and health policy.

She also works on community-based participatory research projects focusing on health in underserved and underrepresented populations.

“Health is ripe for conflict, so I kept coming back to this,” she says. “Even though my research is no longer about conflict, I still teach and manage communication and conflict because of this, and I began a greater degree of emphasis in the context of health.”

Sandoval says there is a distinct need for training and education and work to address communication needs in healthcare, where misunderstandings and cultural differences can often be a matter of life and death. She says working in complex contexts prepared her for the long process of negotiating, where patience, diligence, and persistence pay off.

“Some conflicts are more difficult. When we are in a high-stress conflict, we can’t always be the best version of ourselves. Now imagine being sick, having the stress of the healthcare context, and having to advocate for yourself while remaining calm and focused.”

No stranger to a fight, Sandoval’s experience makes her uniquely qualified to represent our faculty union at the bargaining table.

“In negotiations, people are intimidated by the process and the high stakes,” she says. “What works well for me is I’m used to that. That has been really helpful. I’ve been in this context frequently, so sometimes I’m stressed out about it, but most of the time I am confident in my ability to articulate the needs of our membership.”

Dr. Jennifer Sandoval will not be attending our UFF-UCF Contract and Cocktails Party on April 30 because she will be in Albuquerque, helping to unionize the University of New Mexico faculty. Learn more about Dr. Sandoval and the UFF-UCF Bargaining Team here.

Learn how to join your UCF faculty union

Orlando Sentinel Reports on UCF Faculty Raises and Bargaining Results

Orlando Sentinel Reports on UCF Faculty Raises and Bargaining Results

A new Orlando Sentinel article today covers our recent UCF faculty raises finalized by the UFF-UCF Bargaining Team on March 21.

On that date, the 26th bargaining session of the current contract negotiations, our faculty raises were agreed to and signed into place, even before the rest of our contract has been finalized. This is thanks to a process rarely – if ever – used before in UCF negotiations: an early memorandum of understanding, or MOU.

Led by UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, and reviewed by UFF-UCF labor attorney Richard Siwica, our Bargaining Team secured the MOU before the rest of the contract is to be finalized in future sessions. This ends months of waiting by faculty members to know their current salaries. Included in the MOU are both the raises and one-time bonuses of $2,250 in May, in lieu of back pay for the raises.

“In this year of constant change and uncertainty, we especially appreciate the BOT representatives for their continued engagement in good faith bargaining,” said Sandoval. “Reaching the agreement process and regarding salary is a positive step forward in our ongoing work on the new contract. We also thank the UCF administration, specifically Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth A. Dooley, for making faculty compensation a priority.”

The article notes the agreement will cost UCF up to $14.25 million in total, and suggests the Board of Trustees were not initially pleased with the arrangement. UCF’s Associate General Counsel and Associate Provost, Sherry Andrews, defended the agreement, citing the tone of recent negotiations.

Some trustees questioned whether they should approve the raises before the university and faculty union had come to an agreement on other areas of the contract. But Andrews said the union had been cooperative, and “there is something to be said for rewarding good behavior.”

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“I do think we have achieved most not all but the vast majority of our strategic objectives in this negotiation,” Andrews said. “I do not think withholding this raise would get us anything of significance that we haven’t already gotten.”

Read the full article by Annie Martin here (Orlando Sentinel). Learn more about our faculty raises and bonus here (UFF-UCF). Our 2019 UFF-UCF Bargaining Team includes Jennifer Sandoval (Bargaining Chair and Chief Negotiator), Yovanna Pineda, John Raible, John Fauth.

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United Faculty of Florida and UCF Announce Salary Raises for Faculty

United Faculty of Florida and UCF Announce Salary Raises for Faculty

On Friday, March 29, the office of Elizabeth A. Dooley, UCF Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, released an email announcement (below) that the University of Central Florida and the United Faculty of Florida have reached a two-year agreement to provide faculty with a one-time Spring semester payment, and a Fall salary increases.

The agreement covers the fiscal years of 2018-2019, which began months ago, and 2019-2020. This is the first agreement in anyone’s recent memory to cover multiple years.

UCF faculty members will receive a one-time bonus of $2,250 on May 10. Starting with the August 23 pay period, faculty members will receive a 2 percent salary increase, and in 2019-2020 year, an additional pay guaranteed increase of 1.25 percent starting with the Sept. 20 pay period, and likely another 1.25 percent salary increase in the same pay period, provided the university is fiscally stable.

UFF-UCF’s bargaining team is led by chief negotiator Dr. Jennifer Sandoval with assistance from treasurer Dr. Yovanna Pineda, John Raible, Dr. John Fauth, Dr. Mason Cash. and president Scott Launier.

“It has been my privilege to work with this incredible group of volunteers tirelessly representing the interests of faculty during our negotiations,” said Sandoval, associate professor and program coordinator for Communication and Conflict with the Nicholson School of Communication and Media. “We thank the BOT representatives for their continued engagement in good faith bargaining this year during a time of constant change and uncertainty. Collaboration on the MOU regarding salary is a positive step forward in our ongoing work on the new contract. We also thank the UCF administration, specifically Provost Dooley, for making faculty compensation a priority.”

Bargaining is not over, as the university and our union negotiators continue hashing out the broader collective bargaining agreement for 2018-2021. The United Faculty of Florida bargaining team represents more than 1,670 employees at UCF.

Submitted by: Dr. Briant K. Coleman, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Communications and Marketing
Submitted for: Dr. Elizabeth A. Dooley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Subject line: An important announcement on faculty pay raises
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Faculty are key to UCF’s academic vitality and progress, and I am pleased that the university and the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) have reached a two-year agreement to provide pay increases for our talented and dedicated faculty members.
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This agreement follows months of negotiations, and I commend our university bargaining team and the UFF representatives in finding common ground so that we can continue a path forward while acknowledging the important role of faculty members at our great university. Pay agreements involving our faculty are normally reopened each year for negotiation. The new agreement covers the fiscal years of 2018-19 and 2019-20 and better addresses faculty pay raises for this fiscal year that had been pending based on the outcome of negotiations.
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Under this agreement, eligible UCF faculty members will receive:
* a one-time payment of $2,250 on May 10;
* a 2 percent salary increase starting with the Aug. 23 pay period;
* and an additional pay increase of 1.25 percent beginning with the Sept. 20 pay period.
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Also, depending on whether additional recurring funds are available, eligible salary members will receive an additional pay increase of 1.25 percent starting in the same Sept. 20 pay period. The joint news release on the agreement from the UCF administration and the UFF can be found here: https://provost.ucf.edu/campus/pay-raises-for-faculty/
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UCF has undergone a challenging chain of events this semester. But our focus does not waver on advancing UCF as a model university for the 21st Century for teaching, research, innovation, inclusion and student success. A strong and vibrant faculty is critical for achieving this mission, and we will continue to champion our faculty in moving our university forward.
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I appreciate the support of Interim President Thad Seymour in reaching this pay agreement. And I particularly want to thank the members of the UCF administration and UFF negotiating teams for their tireless efforts to elevate our university through good-faith bargaining.
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Members of the administration team are Michael Mattimore, chief negotiator; Sherry Andrews; Charlie Piper; Dr. Charles Reilly and Dr. Ross Wolf. UFF’s bargaining team members are Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, chief negotiator; Dr. Mason Cash; Dr. John Fauth; Scott Launier; Dr. Yovanna Pineda and John Raible.
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Together, we are always better – and stronger. And I look forward to other fruitful negotiations as the two teams navigate remaining issues on the collective bargaining agreement for 2018-21.
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Elizabeth A. Dooley
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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